So you may or may not have heard the big hype on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and parabens in plastics. There has been a huge push lately to omit more harmful chemicals in plastics, pesticides, personal care and cleaning products. However this push isn’t happening fast enough and sadly many of these products are still harmful for you. WHY you may ask, this is why: many of these modern products are filled with EDC’s and Phthalates. These chemicals are harmful because they disrupt how our hormones work by either mimicking or blocking the hormones at the receptor sites. These pseudo hormones often have an estrogenic effect that is 10X stronger than our own estrogen. The toxic effects have been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, brain and reproductive systems. Take a moment to really think about how much plastics and chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, from our makeup, soap and body wash to the plastic containers we eat and store hot food in. it’s not a surprise if you really think about it.
Let's look at BPA on infertility.
BPA Stands for Bisphenol A which is a toxin that compromises egg quality and mimic estrogen. It’s found in hard plastics and coats receipts from the store, plastic food containers, canned food and drinks. The first research study discovering this was at case western reserve university when studying fertility in mice, they discovered that the egg quality had plummeted, and traced it back to the BPA that was leaching out of the mice’s plastic cage and water container. Dr. Hunt, the lead researcher concluded: this chemical that we are all exposed to could be causing an increase in miscarriages”, more follow up studies on mice fertility and BPA came to the same conclusions. 2008 the CDC came out with a large scale study linking BPA exposure and diabetes heart disease and liver toxicity. In 2011, a study at the university of California drew a link between BPA and IVF outcomes, concluding: BPA exposure reduces egg quality which has implications not just for IVF patients but for anyone trying to conceive. One study in china studies have also found that BPA levels are higher in women with PCOS: concluding the highest levels of BPA were almost twice as likely to have insulin resistance.
Phew! I know it’s overwhelming but take a deep breath because there is more.
PHTHALATES in your makeup
Phthalates Is also an EDC found in EVERYTHING, it is usually a chemical to carry fragrance in cosmetics, personal care products and soft flexible plastics and even some yoga mats! It is recognized by the European Union that it is a reproductive toxin. Evidence is also emerging that high levels of Phthalates may contribute to poor egg quality and therefor infertility. In one early study Phthalates given to mice simply stopped ovulating and it has also been found to affect sperm quality even at a low dose. One study at the University of Michigan School of Public Health discovered that people with higher levels of Phthalates usually had higher levels of inflammation and oxidative stress. A 2016 study at Harvard found IVF patients who had higher levels of Phthalates were significantly less likely to get pregnant. Phthalates Also been linked to miscarriages and birth defects, as it affects how the genitals develop in fetuses.
It’s hard to find clean makeup that looks beautiful and works so I’ll be the middle man. Here are my favorite organic products I am using right now. Afterglow cosmetics is a brand of organic food based makeup and is my favorite! It’s one that I found that works and looks beautiful. I am actually wearing it in all the portrait photos done for this website.
why is BPA not banned by the FDA?
It’s not that the FDA doesn’t acknowledge the harmfulness of these chemicals but it is all very political and as we all know, revising a system is difficult to do. Even some Board members of the FDA have stood up to try to get BPA officially banned but have not been successful. Also it's hard to tell if companies are telling the whole truth because there is no government regulation. To make matters worse a lot of the studies that the FDA has used to support the rejection of banning BPA were actually funded by plastic manufacturers. Sadly to say, it may take decades of evidence in order to make a government change, for example PCBs and Lead and asbestos took decades to finally be banned. But let's not wait that long before we take action!
What do we do now?
I know it’s scary to realize how toxic we have let our lives get but there are steps you can take that make a huge difference. Start by using glass containers to store food, let the cashier handle the paper receipts and find only BPA free canned foods. Replace all cosmetics, personal care products and cleaning products with safer natural alternatives labeled fragrance free, you can check with EWG. Org (Environmental Working Group) which has lab tested many products on the market for toxicity. Avoid soft plastics at all costs by bringing your own glass containers for takeout or leftovers. Finally start to transition into using plant based cleaning products. The more you vote with your money the more likely the industry will change. At the very least you and your family will be healthier and happier for it. To check some of my own favorite clean products go to the personal care and cleaning section on my shop page.
Fett, Rebecca. It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF. Franklin Fox Publishing, 2016.
Briden, Lara. Period Repair Manual: Natural Treatment for Better Hormones and Better Periods. Publisher Not Identified, 2018.